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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bereavement and Inspiration - Guest Post From Reader Sheila Joyce Gibbs, in Loving Memory of Her Husband Gary

This is Sheila's Story of her love for her husband, Gary, pictured here, and of the bereavement and the inspirations that helped her to cope with the loss. Many thanks to you Sheila for emailing your story to me.

Excerpts from Sheila's Story

We had first met at Christian Teen Camp at Nanoose Bay, here on Vancouver Island, in mid July 1972. I was there, with 5 girlfriends as dishwashers, as none of our parents could afford the cost. He was standing quietly in front of the Lodge, with his bike, looking so very shy!

I found myself wandering over, just to get a close look, as he was so very handsome. I asked if he was staying, & he replied 'no'. He had just ridden down from Powell River to see this place he'd heard so much about. And as he was working at the Mill there, for his Dad, he'd have to be heading back pretty quick.
At the time, I was 16 and he was 17.

We never saw each other again, until early 2000.


I worked at the Safeway, close to downtown Victoria and there was a particular gorgeous customer, who came in, only about twice a week. But everyday, I hoped to see him. Even though he had asked me out twice, I'd declined, as twice divorced and terrified of making yet another mistake.

On one of my weekly visits to my Mom's, I complained to her about him, and Mom did something she'd never done. Told me, loudly, to ask him, out!

After more time had passed, I discovered that he was one of the top Carpenters in the city, so I asked him if he could do some minor repairs in my apartment in late fall 2003.

Shortly after that, we had our first dinner out, & started sharing & basically putting pieces together.............then found out who the other really was !
And all this time, the boy from Powell River, that handsome young man at Nanoose Bay, had been right here, & was my favourite customer at work/Safeway !

We started recounting days, months, years of our live's, and mistakes we'd made. Unbelievably, our pasts were almost identical!
During my two previous bad marriages, I had thought & wondered of him so very many times, and he the same of me!

We were married April 17th, 2004!

It was almost immediately afterwards that he took ill, and for someone in excellent physical condition, never been in the hospital, he slowly went down hill for the next 3 yrs.

Gary never took off his wedding ring or crucifix, but on April 12th, 2007, he asked me while so ill, laying in bed, to take them, without giving a reason. It scared me so much, as my dear Mom had done the same thing four years prior, just 2 days before she had passed away !

And, so, my beautiful, Christian husband, the only man of my dreams, who gave me the best three years of my life, just slipped away & joined my Mom & Dad in GLORY, on April 14th, 2007.
I had never been treated as well, nor loved and adored, the way he did me !

Well, it's been over 32 months now, since I lost him.
I didn't realize just how horrific a broken heart could be. I've heard others say, it was like literally having half your heart ripped out. And, they were so right !

To share with others, wasn't easy, but for some reason last spring, doing so seemed to be pressing on me.
This has been one of the most difficult journey's in my entire life !!

Just remember something that my Mom taught me, as a very small child, & have never forgotten...........
Christ will NEVER leave us, nor forsake us!

These Bible scriptures have literally been my sustenance & strength:

My Child, you may not know me, but I know everything about you! (Psalm 139:1)
I know when you sit down & when you rise up. I am familiar with all your ways! (Psalm 139:3)
For you were made in my image! (Genesis 1:27)
You are my offspring! (Acts 17:28)
You were not a mistake! For all your days are written in my book! (Psalm 139: 15-18)
I determined the exact time of your birth & where you would live! (Acts 17:28)
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope! (Jeremiah 29:11)
My thoughts toward you are as countless as the sand on the seashore! (Psalm 139:17-18)
And I rejoice over you with singing! (Zephaniah 3:17)
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you! (Psalm 34:18)
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart! (Isaiah 40:11)
One day, I will wipe every tear from your eyes & I'll take away all the pain you have suffered here on this earth!
(Revelation 21:3-4)
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love! (Romans 8: 31-32)
My question is, will you be my child? (John 1: 12-13)
I am waiting for you. (Luke 15:11-32)

My deepest prayers go with this story, for those of you who are also in grief.
Please remember: He will never ever, leave us ! Nothing, absolutely nothing, can snatch us from His Hands !

'In loving Memory of Gary William Gibbs'.

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